Falcons still need linemen (and Weatherspoon video-palooza)

Florida's Carlos Dunlap might be a risk worth taking at defensive end.

Florida's Carlos Dunlap might be a risk worth taking at defensive end.

The Falcons have filled one significant hole on their defense with the drafting of Sean Weatherspoon. Today, they can fill another. They don’t have a second-round pick, so to get a real impact player might require general manager Thomas Dimitroff to trade up.

Dimitroff suggested Thursday that trying to move into the second round “might be too expensive” in trade. Indeed, this whole three-day draft thing creates a new dynamic for general managers. They have a day to think about who’s still left on the board after the first round and what moves they might want to make to go after a specific player. That can drive up the market.

That said, here are five players who would help the Falcons (but may or may not be available by their scheduled turn in the third round). You’ll notice a theme. I think the Falcons still need help on both lines.

Then, enjoy a Sean Weatherspoon Video Feast.

1. Indiana tackle Rodger Saffold (6-4, 316): He could go early today. Said to possess excellent lateral movement. The Falcons’ offensive line is still a work in progress, and Sam Baker, a top draft pick from two years ago, has struggled with injuries.

2. USC defensive end Everson Griffen (6-3, 273): The team still needs a strong pass-rusher on the end, especially with John Abraham’s health (and therefore effectiveness) always an issue.  Griffin struggled with consistency problems at Southern Cal but he can put pressure on the quarterback.

3. Massachutsetts guard Vladimir Ducasse (6-4, 332): He’s large, to say the least, and an excellent run blocker. Projects as a guard but started 23 games at left tackle the last two years.

4. Illinois guard Jon  Asamoah (6-4, 305): He started every game in the last three seasons, not missing any time because of injury. Said to be a strong run blocker who plays with a nasty streak, which should fit in well with the Falcons’ objectives.

5. Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap (6-5, 277): Yes, there’s the downside, starting with the DUI late last season. His maturity has come into question on several occasions. The hope is that all of this negative publicity is a wakeup call. Athletically, he’s one of the best players in the draft. He was defensive MVP of the BCS title game two years ago. Even with his issues this past year, he still had nine sacks, 10.5 tackles for losses and deflected six passes.

Here’s a video aggregation of videos via YouTube. I think you’ll particularly enjoy the dance one.

Sean Weatherspoon is a Van Halen fan? Who knew? Here he is introducing a nice package of highlights.

Here’s a shorty from Mizzou Pro Day. Noteworthy is the Falcons’ scout who is furiously scribbling notes.

This is the funniest video: Weatherspoon dancing while trying on clothes at Express.

Another nice highlight package, this from the Senior Bowl, in which Weatherspoon had five tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.

Weatherspoon’s own day in the life. Nothing too earth shattering but entertaining.

NFL.com did a good interview immediately following the Scouting Combine. Weatherspoon compares himself to Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears. Problem is, the NFL won’t provide an embedding code, but here’s the link.

Earlier Falcons draft posts

Weatherspoon helps Falcons fix the right side of the ball

Draft night (LIVE): Behind the scenes at Falcons’ HQ

Draft day (Part II): Tebow top 15, Morgan to Falcons?

Draft day (Part I): Falcon options; Berry rips Deion; Tebow to Vikes?

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and on Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

122 comments Add your comment

JSS

April 23rd, 2010
11:28 am

Was that “Senior Bowl 2010″ instead of “Senior Day?”

Vinny D

April 23rd, 2010
11:32 am

JSS

April 23rd, 2010
11:33 am

Weatherspoon will well, he doesn’t put fear in my heart, but he won’t be Aundray Bruce by a long shot! The standard is slowing down and/or stopping the Saints!

Jon

April 23rd, 2010
11:47 am

Jeff, the Falcons can’t deal their last 3rd round pick since it is compensatory. So that pick can’t be a bargaining chip. But maybe they can use a future 2nd rounder with the other 3rd to move up and get an impact player.

Fred

April 23rd, 2010
11:49 am

I wish the AJC would get sports writers that knew something about the sport they are writing about. The Falcons can not trade up to the 2nd round by giving up their two third round choices. This is due to the fact that teams cannot trade their compensatory picks. Pick #35 in the third round is a compensatory pick.

The Spoon pick was a very safe pick and addressed a major need at OLB. They needed an OLB that has coverage abilities and got one.

Jeff Schultz

April 23rd, 2010
11:56 am

JSS — Yes, Senior Bowl. I don’t know why it says “Senior Day” there. That title was just burned into video.

PMC

April 23rd, 2010
11:57 am

Nice picture of Dunlap beating up on Hawaii. It would be nice if Florida played a non conference schedule with anything more than baby teeth in it sometime this millenium.

Jeff Schultz

April 23rd, 2010
11:57 am

Jon — Good point, forget about that rule about not being allowed to deal compensatory picks.

Reid Adair

April 23rd, 2010
12:00 pm

If the Falcons don’t get into the second round, and I agree with Thomas Dimitroff that it might cost too much, I think that’s a solid list of guys who could still be on the board in the third round.

Jeff Schultz

April 23rd, 2010
12:02 pm

Hey Fred, calm down. That line is out. I don’t think momentarily forgetting about the compensatory picks rule qualifies as not knowing anything about football.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

April 23rd, 2010
12:02 pm

any speedy receivers that might be around in the 3rd or 4th round ? I don’t see TD giving up picks to move into the 2nd so it won’t be must see tv until the 3rd.

P.J.

April 23rd, 2010
12:05 pm

Linebacker was the greatest need then Oline, so I hope Thomas will address that in one of the upcoming rounds. I believe in Thomas and Mike.

Dawgs2010

April 23rd, 2010
12:07 pm

Dan Reeves would have already traded next years #1 for a chance to get into the second.

The 1999 Draft sent the Falcons into a tail-spin in could not recocer from for years.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

April 23rd, 2010
12:10 pm

i know we need linemen but I like the burners, although they don’t always stay healthy and we do need another receiver it might take douglas a year to get back to being explosive

Dan-O

April 23rd, 2010
12:17 pm

Good stuff, Jeff. Thanks for compiling this for us. At the Senior Bowl, Witherspoon showed he already knows how to turn his head as the ball is coming, unlike some Falcons corners from recent past. I like the pick. TD and Smitty sure seem to know what they are doing!

Willy

April 23rd, 2010
12:17 pm

Ne, Jeff, forgetting the compensatory pick rule doesn’t qualify you for not knowing anything about football. But having a job that Jeff wishes he has, does (that, and hating Brett Favre because he can’t quit wanting to play)

Past that, I agree. I think the Falcons would do themselves quite well if they decided to use up the rest of the draft just stocking up on linemen. Those guys break down and get hurt faster than anyone. It would be a reasonable all around strategy to just get a bunch of them. Anyway, that doesn’t mean you don’t suck, so don’t get too confident!

Doesn't anybody remember...

April 23rd, 2010
12:22 pm

…Aundray Bruce as the Falcons first round pick who could not miss…..or John Small from The Citadel…or can’t miss DB Bruce Pickens…until they play and perform, it’s all still a crapshoot…

Delbert D.

April 23rd, 2010
12:27 pm

Who’s available from U of Montana? Danged good team last year, 14-0 before losing to Villanova in the NC game 23-21. Falcons could use another Kroy Biermann type high-motor guy.

matt r

April 23rd, 2010
12:31 pm

I am curious if teams when doing their due diligence, scour the web for YouTube clips like the last one, facebook pages, and twitter posts, to look out for potential trouble spots. Maybe you can ask if you are back at FB tonight, Jeff?

Mr. Phil

April 23rd, 2010
12:50 pm

Matt R: I Believe they do. I read somewhere that a team had concerns about Spoon(could have been another player) because of his “infatuation” with social media and how that Twitter is not their kind of thing.

Dawgdad

April 23rd, 2010
1:09 pm

Falcons should draft like this:

1st 3rd rounder: Matt Tennant, C Boston College, or John Jerry OT Ole Miss
2nd 3rd rounder: Brandon LaFell, WR LSU

This way we get a great possession reciever and blocker, and upgrade the OL…great pick with SPOON!!!

Ted M

April 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm

He sounds like a good guy too

Ted M

April 23rd, 2010
1:24 pm

Jeff,

Can you add link for a decent updated mock draft round 2 and 3?

gcs

April 23rd, 2010
1:35 pm

He seems like a good kid…

Nique

April 23rd, 2010
2:01 pm

They need to trade up & get Dunlap, he’s the best ALL AROUND DE in the draft, he plays the run as well as the pass. It is true that h has taken a few plays off, not as many as ppl are critixizing him for though. But before his DUI he was listed as a no question top 5 pick. You can’t pass that up in the 2cnd round! Go back & watch the national championship 2 years ago & tell me that he’s not worth trading up 4!!!

I would also love to get Jordan shipley or Marty Gillyard with that comp pick!

No One Knows You're a Dawg

April 23rd, 2010
2:06 pm

“Right Now”? How ’bout “Unchained”?

Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
2:08 pm

What’s up,

What do you think about taking Matt Tennant with our first 3rd rounder; and then taking Jordan Shipley WR with our second 3rd rounder. Tennant seems like our type of tough physical lineman, and would be center in waiting; We should take Shipley before a team like New England grabs him, and makes him the next Wes Welker.

Jeff Schultz

April 23rd, 2010
2:16 pm

Ted — Not too many do mocks for Round 2 (or 3). It’s an even bigger guessing game than first-round mocks.
Here’s one from Scouts Inc. but you need Insider access.
It has the Falcons taking Clemson DE Ricky Sapp and Miami tight end Jimmy Graham in the third round.
http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft10/insider/news/story?id=5128284

danny

April 23rd, 2010
2:21 pm

DEXTER MCCLUSTER!!!!!

Darin

April 23rd, 2010
2:22 pm

I live in Columbia MO and I can tell you folks, you got a beast. He is strong, athletic, focused, and driven. If you only look at stats, you’ll think something happened last year to cause his tackle totals, but remember, he lost two anchor players to the NFL draft and now teams had a chance to double team him and he STILL had over 100. You all will be pleased.

Cody_Falcon

April 23rd, 2010
2:23 pm

Falcons Fan, I wouldnt mind if they took Tennant. As far as WR goes..I would say no to Shipley. I think he’ll make a good slot receiver like Welker, but we already have that kind of receiver in HD (Harry Douglas) coming back from injury….he’ll make a HUGE difference in the offense this year. If we are indeed going to pick a receiver..I think trying to make a play for LaFell would be awesome!

hiramsaint

April 23rd, 2010
2:31 pm

there’ still a few qb’s left out there to consider

Ted M

April 23rd, 2010
2:36 pm

Ted M

April 23rd, 2010
2:39 pm

Do you recall where they had Cody Terrance the massive NT from AL going?

Nique

April 23rd, 2010
2:42 pm

What do you think the likelyhood of the Falcons trading up for Dunlap is? I also like the DT out of Houston if we don’t trade up & he falls. & I was woundering if you know if the falcons even made a call to Ten about Morgan at 16?

Jeff Schultz

April 23rd, 2010
2:48 pm

Here’s another second-round mock draft from Pro Football Talk

33. Cleveland Browns (projected trade) – Jimmy Clausen, quarterback, Notre Dame.
34. Minnesota Vikings – Nate Allen, safety, South Florida.
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Carlos Dunlap, defensive end, Florida.
36. Kansas City Chiefs – Golden Tate, wide receiver, Notre Dame.
37. Philadelphia Eagles – Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, cornerback, Indiana (PA).
38. St. Louis Rams (projected trade) – Brian Price, defensive tackle, UCLA.
39. Oakland Raiders – Rodger Saffold, offensive tackle, Indiana.
40. Miami Dolphins – Morgan Burnett, safety, Georgia Tech.
41. Buffalo Bills – Charles Brown, offensive tackle, USC.
42. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Arrelious Benn, wide receiver, Illinois.
43. Baltimore Ravens – Linval Joseph, defensive tackle, East Carolina.
44. New England Patriots – Ricky Sapp, defensive end, Clemson.
45. Denver Broncos – Jamar Chaney, linebacker, Mississippi State.
46. New York Giants – Vladimir Ducasse, offensive lineman, UMass.
47. New England Patriots – Damian Williams, wide receiver, USC.
48. Carolina Panthers – Taylor Price, wide receiver, Ohio.
49. San Francisco 49ers – Jason Worilds, defensive end, Virginia Tech.
50. Kansas City Chiefs – Rob Gronkowski, tight end, Arizona.
51. Houston Texans – Toby Gerhart, running back, Stanford.
52. Pittsburgh Steelers – Austen Lane, defensive end, Murray State.
53. New England Patriots – Corey Wootton, defensive end, Northwestern.
54. Cincinnati Bengals – Taylor Mays, safety, USC.
55. Philadelphia Eagles – Dexter McCluster, running back, Ole Miss.
56. Green Bay Packers – Everson Griffen, defensive end, USC.
57. Baltimore Ravens – Terrence Cody, defensive tackle, Alabama.
58. Arizona Cardinals – Daryl Washington, linebacker, TCU.
59. Dallas Cowboys – Bruce Campbell, offensive tackle, Maryland.
60. Seattle Seahawks – Jonathan Dwyer, running back, Georgia Tech.
61. New York Jets – Chad Jones, safety, LSU.
62. Minnesota Vikings – Jerome Murphy, cornerback, South Florida.
63. Indianapolis Colts – Amari Spievey, cornerback, Iowa.
64. New Orleans Saints – Navorro Bowman, linebacker, Penn State.

Ted M

April 23rd, 2010
2:51 pm

Thanks again

Ted M

April 23rd, 2010
2:52 pm

its hard to believe Taylor Mays lasting so long

PMC

April 23rd, 2010
3:10 pm

Please no Dunlap to Tampa.

If they do that the Falcons are going to have to trade back into the second to get Roger Saffold. We can’t depend on Sam Baker.

PMC

April 23rd, 2010
3:12 pm

Dunlap could have been top 10 if he didn’t make that stupid decision before the SEC championship.

What They’re Saying about ‘Spoon’

April 23rd, 2010
3:31 pm

[...] Falcons still need linemen (and Weatherspoon video-palooza), Atlanta Journal-Constitution Already talking about the rest of the draft? Well, I guess that’s what you get when it’s a three-day process. [...]

Eddy

April 23rd, 2010
3:40 pm

What do you think the chances of moving into the 2nd round are? Could Norwood be possibly used as trade bait? Also, what do you think about getting another WR? Jenkins in my mind is not a #2 WR and I would have loved to see us get Bay-Bay or Bryant, even though I am very happy getting Spoon. Any thoughts?

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
3:58 pm

Good, I didn’t see Tennant anywhere on that mock.

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
4:00 pm

I didn’t see Colt McCoy on that mock either so hmmm…..

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 23rd, 2010
4:22 pm

Norwood wouldn’t bring more than a fifth or sixth rounder in a perfect world, and the world ain’t perfect by a long shot.

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
4:25 pm

What about Norwood, a #3, and a #5?

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 23rd, 2010
4:25 pm

Jenkins wouldn’t bring much more, if any. Ain’t a huge market for slow, butter-fingered, receivers.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 23rd, 2010
4:26 pm

Seattle, now that might bring us a 2.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 23rd, 2010
4:38 pm

Every team needs a rah-rah guy (who can back-up the rah-rah) to rally around. Spoon just might be that guy.

74Dawg

April 23rd, 2010
4:46 pm

I like your list, Jeff. The first two,I am afraid,will be gone when the Falcons pick. I really don’t like the idea of trading up with the early third. They can get two good players in the third. Two linemen or a oline and a possession wide reciever .